Following a disappointing loss against the nationally ranked Salisbury Sea Gulls, the Hopkins volleyball team returned to action Saturday.
“After our loss to Salisbury we focused a lot on not making as many unforced errors,” freshman Jasmine Warmington explained. “It’s pretty frustrating when we have such a talented team and we take ourselves out of big games because we continue to make unnecessary errors.”
The Blue Jays traveled to Haverford, Pa. to take on the Haverford Fords and York Spartans in a doubleheader. Despite the loss against Salisbury, Hopkins knew they needed to immediately respond. Unlike their matchup last Wednesday against the Sea Gulls, Saturday’s match held implications for the Blue Jays’ conference record. Coming into the day, both Haverford and Hopkins were tied atop the conference and a loss would have put the Blue Jays in a deep hole. Having focused on intensity and energy, Hopkins was primed to take on Haverford in a pivotal conference matchup.
The Blue Jays opened the match by dropping a close one in the first set, losing 23-25. Despite the early letdown, Hopkins fired back to win three straight sets (25-12, 25-12, 25-20). The Blue Jays recorded a .308 hitting percentage, as Megan Cohan, Meagan Donohoe, Katie Schwarz and Warmington combined for 48 kills.
Warmington led the group with 18 kills, while Schwarz remarkably notched her sixth double-double of the season, tallying 10 kills and 13 digs. Warmington combined her 18 kills with a .516 hitting percentage to lengthen her lead as the conference’s leading hitter. Warmington currently has 293 kills on the season. Her closest competitor is in a distant second place with 233 kills.
Apart from leading the conference in kills, Warmington is also top the conference leader board in both kills per set and hitting percentage. The freshman star humbly commented on her success, stating, “It feels great to be an integral part of the team, especially as a freshman. I love my team and I could not even be remotely as successful without them.” In the match, Mariel Metalios also dished out 28 assists, while Amelia Thomas battled for a match-high 18 digs. The victory kept Hopkins tied for first place with Franklin & Marshall. Both teams have one loss, with Hopkins lone conference defeat coming at the hands of Franklin & Marshall.
Next up for the Blue Jays were the York College Spartans. Freshman Gabi Rothman emphasized the importance of staying mentally tough in the second match of the day. Maintaining focus throughout the day can be extremely difficult so head coach Matt Troy made sure his team was prepared. He had his team up early Sunday morning the previous week to make sure they were accustomed to the demands of their upcoming road trip.
York, a non-conference opponent, entered the match with a 6-20 record. Despite the team’s meager win total, the Spartans would refuse to go down without a fight. York College took the first set 21-25. In spite of the setback, Hopkins rolled on taking the next three sets 25-12, 25-12, 25-20. With the win the Blue Jays improved to (22-3, 5-1).
Blue Jays now have five games remaining. On Wednesday, Hopkins will travel to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to take on Dickinson College. Dickinson (5-12, 4-3) enters the match coming off a win on Saturday. The Red Devils defeated Washington College solidifying their status as a middle of the road conference foe. Hopkins comes into the match owning the series record 23-6. The Blue Jays also knocked off the Red Devils last year in straight sets.
In addition, on Saturday the Blue Jays will host a doubleheader in Goldfarb Gym. Both Bryn Mawr and Susquehanna will travel to Baltimore. Bryn Mawr will be one of Hopkins three remaining conference matchups. With the regular season coming to an end you can expect the Blue Jays to employ some new tactics as they prepare for postseason play. The Owls (7-15, 1-6) currently sit at the bottom of the conference standings. Lifetime the Blue Jays are 17-2 against the Owls.
With three matchups against inferior opponents, it looks as if Hopkins is in control to continue their remarkably successful season. If the Blue Jays can take care of business, they should be well on their way to finishing out their conference in winning fashion and atop the Centennial Conference standings.